Indo-Americans most inspiring diaspora: Blake
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Last Updated: Wednesday, December 14, 2011, 14:09
Washington: With more than three million in numbers, Indian Americans are not only the most inspiring diasporas in the US but their unmatched activism has made sure their political influence too has grown tremendously, a senior Obama administration has said.

US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, Robert Blake, said in his keynote address to the Washington DC annual gala of the American India Foundation (AIF) that Indians were today seen at every public platform, be it politics, academics or business.

"There is no diaspora community that is more successful and inspiring than the Indian-American community," he said.

Founded in 2001 at the initiative of the then US President, Bill Clinton, AIF is the leading developmental organisation focused on helping Indians. Clinton serves as its honorary chair.

Indian Americans have among the highest if not the highest per capita incomes of all groups in the United States, he said.

"Indian Americans are increasingly seeing their influence grow, whether by election of political stars such as Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana or Governor Nikki Haley of South Carolina, you see people at every single level of government, at the highest level --- business, academia and everywhere else," Blake said in his address at the event that honoured eminent Indian American Ranvir Trehan with its philanthropy award.

"So there influence is extremely farfetched. More importantly now, if you look at the growth of India caucus, it is the most influential caucus on the Capitol Hill. The reason for that is the activism and the energy of the Indian American community," he said.

About a fortnight ago, the India Caucus in the House of Representatives and the Senate India Caucus had hosted a reception for the Indian Ambassador to the US, Nirupama Rao, that was attended by a large number of American lawmakers.

Blake, who had earlier served in India and Sri Lanka, and now is the US government's pointsman for South and Central Asia said his experiences in India and elsewhere in South Asia taught him that there are tremendous opportunities for the US to work more closely with the diaspora to try to leverage their talent and resources.

"So one of the first things I did as Assistant Secretary was to hire a new senior advisor position in the South and Central Asian Affairs Bureau to focus on engaging with the Diaspora and other external groups," Blake said.

He noted that young Indian American Mitul Desai has been appointed as the senior advisor for strategic partnership at the State Department.


First Published: Wednesday, December 14, 2011, 14:09

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